Germany Travel Guide
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You might not be able to fly into Berlin's new Brandenburg Airport terminal anytime soon, but if you want, you can take a bus ride down what will some day be its runway.
For those who haven't been following this story, the idea of the tour is a little humorous. This airport project, afterall, started all the way back in 2006 and has been an absolute nightmare for Berlin, with constant delays that have seen construction drag on for almost a decade. And it's not just about simple work delays. Political issues, including bribes, have come up, as well as an ever-curious case of the hiring a fake engineer.
Berlin Travel / Lichtgrenze / Berlin Wall 25th Anniversary / Germany Travel / Historical Travel / → All Tags
When it comes to historical travel, Germany attracts people from more nations than perhaps any other in the world. Not only did its actions during World War II affect the lives of those in a variety of countries, but the Holocaust is also arguably the most talked-about, war-related tragedy ever, piquing the curiosity of even those who had no connection to the actual events.
Yet, despite this opportunity to turn this world interest in its past into mass tourism and profits, visitors to Germany will see that it has been very good about not exploiting or glorifying its historical sites. In this travel writer’s opinion, there’s a simplicity to the presentation, a very admirable aspect of respect to the approach of preservation. The last thing the country wants is to appear as if it is proud of what took place in the years leading up to World War II.
Airport News / FRA / WiFI / Airports / Travel Tech / Germany Travel / → All Tags
From New York City to Atlanta, some of the busiest airports in the world are finally flipping the switch on complimentary WiFi. It's better late than never, and we’re glad airports are finally getting the message. Now that complimentary connections are continuing to expand, its time to welcome's yet another major airport to the club.
Leave your credit card digits in your wallet, as Frankfurt Airport is now offering unlimited free WiFi to passengers 24 hours a day. Previously WiFi was limited to 60 minutes, but now you’re free to continue your time wasting—or work emails—until it's time to board that flight.
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The best new thing in airport parking garage technology has now arrived over at Germany's Dusseldorf Airport, and we're totally jealous of the locals who get to use it when leaving their cars behind.
Basically, the system is a robot valet that takes care of parking your car. It even has a cutesy name, Robot Ray. It doesn’t exactly drive your car into an available parking space - it actually lifts it up (think forklift) and carries it over to the appropriate spot.
Drinking Travel / Germany Travel / Hamburg Travel / Hamburg Fish Market / Europe Travel / Reeperbahn / → All Tags
If Berlin is Germany's best party city, then consider Hamburg a miniature version with its nightclub culture, red-light district, and the street-filled fiestas of the Reeperbahn. There's enough to keep you going through the next morning, and on a recent visit, we discovered the perfect place to watch the sunrise - and found something we never expected.
As the clock began to push 5 a.m., this travel writer was led by his friends out of the club, into the daylight. They all kept talking about this fish market, something that, in my 5 a.m. haze, I could not fully understand. Why on earth are you taking me to a fish market when we've been out partying all night? To the waterfront we went, away from the noise and the ridiculousness of the Reeperbahn. Little did I know, it was about to get even more ridiculous.
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One of the first things this writer noticed upon landing in Berlin was the incredible amount of green space found within the city limits. From pockets of trees on street corners to sprawling parks, the Germans sure know how to keep their cities fresh, as visits to Munich, Dusseldorf, and Frankfurt would also confirm.
Berlin benefits from the fact that it was built over marshland, reaping the rewards of an extremely high water table. The joke is that Berliners have a conservation conflict - that is, the less water they use as a city, the more money they have to spend to pump out the excess. When walking or driving through the city, keep your eye out for the purple and blue pipes that run above the streets, and don't feel too bad about taking your time in the shower.
The Tempelhofer Park is the most notable of the few dozen found in Berlin, and certainly the most unique. It is the protected remains of the Berlin Tempelhof Airport that closed its doors in 2008 after nearly ninety years of operation.
Street Food Friday / Food Travel / Berlin Travel / Germany Travel / Berliner / Currywurst / Doner Kebab / → All Tags
In this addition of Street Food Friday, we head to Berlin to see what's cooking. While it does have some very strong traditions, it's important to note that Berlin is a huge international city where locals eat everything from burgers to Asian barbecue. Try the following local dishes along the way, but if you really want to live the local life, be sure to explore the Berlin's vast multicultural food scene.
Berlin Travel / Germany Travel / East Berlin / West Berlin / Berlin Nightlife / Berlin Nightclubs / Berlin Neighborhoods / Kreuzberg / RAW Berlin / → All Tags
From the RAW complex in Friedrichshain
Yesterday, we explained why visiting Berlin sooner than later is an absolute must: The receding counter-culture of the 90s out of plain sight and into the depths of the city. But you can still find strong pockets of it in certain areas, and you'll want to pencil them in as part of your visit.
When one of our contributors visited Berlin for the first time a few years ago, he made a comment about the large number of construction sites he saw throughout the city. On my visit this past weekend, I witnessed a similar scene, cranes towering high above the buildings in almost every direction. A casual observation on the surface, for sure, yet it provides deep insight into the state of the city when investigated further.
After the fall of the Wall in November of 1989, visitors to the former East Berlin would experience what I like to refer to as nothing short of a beautiful disaster. Communism was over, and no one was really sure what that meant in terms of property ownership, government jurisdiction, and social outlook. What transpired was a heavy counter-cultural scene, one filled with squatters, street art, and modern-day speakeasies. It became known as the party capital of Europe, where everyone would go to let their hair down. You can see glimpses of the scene in the photos that follow.
If you typically keep your passport locked up in the hotel safe while exploring a city, you're going to want to take it out on the town when you visit Berlin. You'll get the official stamp when you land at the airport, but you can get additional vintage and historical stamps for 1 Euro each at a small tourist shop in East Berlin (and occasionally near Brandenburg Gate).
What kind of stamps are we talking? They all come from a time when the Wall still stood and the city was separated into East and West Berlin. Think Checkpoint Charlie East and West, the Police of East Berlin, and the Wall House.
Drinking beer in Germany is an obvious must when traveling through the country, and it certainly doesn't take much convincing. Its brewing reputation and history speaks for itself, and because the production and ingredients are regulated by the government, the quality of beer being brewed is as good as it gets these days.
The Germans love it so much, they even offer ways ways to enjoy beer if you don't like beer, such as a Radler (beer mixed with lemonade) or an Alster (beer with soda) that takes some of the edge off the flavor. This weekend in Berlin, we discovered another variation on the traditional pint in the form of the Berliner Weisse, a sour wheat beer that is served with a drop of flavoring to help the medicine go down.
Wish You Were Here / Germany Travel / Berlin Travel / Europe Travel / Berlin Wall / Historical Travel / Asisi Panometer / → All Tags
In November of 1989, residents of East and West Germany celebrated as the government announced the "fall" of the Berlin Wall, a breaking of the barrier between the two sides and a signal that the country was ready to reconcile.
A massive celebration ensued, and this year, as the country recognizes the 25 year anniversary of its reunion, we've come to Germany's capital to get a fresh perspective on not only the commemorative events to come, but the state of Berlin as one of Europe's top cities to visit.